“ I love women,” coming from a man, almost always means “I love when women please me,” “I love to imagine fucking women,” “I love to jack off to women’s pornified bodies,” “I love women who don’t challenge me in a way that makes me uncomfortable,” or “I love the idea of women.”
“ Stop making us out to be no-fun (unless we’re naked and and twerking!), brainless, infantile, boring, nags and give us our whiskey.”
“ All this stunt has accomplished, in my eyes, is to reconvince me that the fashion industry is populated by vapid, superficial, apolitical idiots.”
“ I don’t know which one I am — the “mainstream feminist,” the “public feminist,” the “career feminist,” or the “thin-lipped censorius” feminist. I don’t care. These labels are meaningless and yet are tossed back and forth with zeal online, in an effort to win at the game of “step on someone else’s neck to make yourself taller/gain Twitter followers” that internet feminism seems so fond of. Why are you playing that game, Laurie? It’s a bad game. The ones who lose are women.”
“ Laurie Penny. You know better than this. You must know that feminism’s fight against pornography and prostitution is about opposing sexism — not about opposing sex. This is the game that anti-feminist men play. “Oh you hate watching gang-bangs? You must hate sex you ugly prude!” “Oh you think prostitution exists because of patriarchy and colonialism and exploits the most marginalized members of our society? WHY DO YOU HATE BONERS? Put your bible away, Jesus!””
Pistorius has taught abusers everywhere that they can come up with the flimsiest of lies and will be believed. Women everywhere have learned that their partners can terrorize and abuse and and even murder them and get away with it.
She must have been terrified.
You can bet Palmer feels empathy and sympathy for Rice. She probably does love him. She more-than-likely hopes and believes he will change. He has probably promised to change many times. This is old hat. Women who have been in abusive relationships know exactly how it goes and how it feels. It’s not easy to believe that someone who claims to love you and who you feel love towards would hurt you. Of course we hope they will stop. Of course we want them to change and want to believe they will. Abusive men aren’t all abusive 24 hours a day. We hang on to the good moments — that’s why we stay.
Abuse is a mindfuck. We are made to feel dependent on our abusers. We feel embarrassed and ashamed at what we’ve been put through, what we’ve “put up with,” at the verbal and emotional abuse we’ve been subjected to. At the reality of our lives and the crazy, humiliating, inexplicable behaviour we’ve witnessed. How can you tell someone those things? Surely no one will understand… Our self-esteem deteriorates. We become isolated from our support systems. We feel we can’t ask for help because we’ve left and gone back so many times over and we know our friends and family are sick of it. We feel judged and we feel stupid and we feel weak. We are strong women and we know better. We feel like we can take it. We can cope. We compartmentalize — shutting the bad stuff out. We tell ourselves it isn’t so bad. We really, really want it to get better. He says he’ll go to counseling. He says he’ll stop drinking. He says if only we’d change our tone of voice or our body language or be gentler or kinder or more thoughtful… If only. We stop trusting ourselves. Is it our fault? Is this normal? Maybe I did provoke him…
Abuse isn’t as simple as you want it to be. It isn’t clear cut. It isn’t easy to leave. It isn’t easy to give up on someone we care about and have invested time and energy and emotion into. But no matter what Palmer does, no matter what she feels or says, it doesn’t make his actions ok. And it doesn’t mean she deserved it.
“ We, as women, fight for our selves every day. We fight to be ourselves. Not to lose ourselves. We have to fight to tell the truth. Because what we aren’t supposed to do, as women, is tell the truth. We are supposed to be silent — to smile and look pretty. To feel fulfilled in unfulfilling lives. To be happy and cheery and perky at all times, emanating positivity like fucking TV moms and robot cheerleaders. We aren’t supposed to make anyone uncomfortable with things like feelings or reality. Our emotions and our vulnerability are used against us in the most hateful and violent ways.”
“ Maybe we’ll all “lighten up” a bit when women are permitted to be successful without having to be literally on display for the male gaze while the real, full humans get to talk about serious, important things.”